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The Create Shape from Text and Create Shape from SVG Path dialogs in the Shapes menu (Home tab) allow you to convert text and SVG paths into fully-editable HelpXplain outline shapes.

Create Shape from Text

The Create Shape from Text function in the Shapes menu turns text you enter into a fully-manipulable shape, using any font that you specify. After creating it you can resize it, stretch it, change its color, add a shadow and fill (even image fill) and more. This makes it possible to create really creative and striking text effects that would never be possible with text alone.

shape_fromtext

Create the shape

Select the Create Shape from Text option in the Shapes menu, enter your text and select the font you want to use. Then click on OK to insert.

Scaling the shape

shape_fromtext_format

You can resize the text shape just like any other shape object. Hold down SHIFT before resizing to keep the original aspect ratio (relationship of width to height). Set the scaling steps used with SHIFT in View > Snap Objects...

Format the shape

Text shapes are outline shapes with all the properties that normal outline shapes have. You can set fill, outline, opacity, shadow and so on in the Properties tab on the right.

Create Shape from SVG Path

This function is a special option for creating outline shapes from any single SVG path. This gives you a fully manipulable HelpXplain outline shape that you can then apply

Don't use this for inserting regular SVG files!

This is a specialized function for creating HelpXplain shapes from SVG paths, so that you can manipulate them fully in HelpXplain. If you just want to insert an existing SVG image file you can do that directly in the Picture menu in the Home tab.

How to get the path from an SVG file

An SVG file is really just a text file that tells the computer how to draw something on the screen. The contents of all SVG files look like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE svg PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD SVG 1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/1.1/DTD/svg11.dtd">
<svg version="1.1" id="Layer_1" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" x="0px" y="0px" width="24px" height="24px" viewBox="0 0 24 24" enable-background="new 0 0 24 24" xml:space="preserve">
<g id="icon">
  <path d="M15.5,14h-0.79l-0.28,-0.27C15.41,12.59,16,11.11,16,9.5,16,5.91,13.09,3,9.5,3S3,5.91,3,9.5,5.91,16,9.5,16c1.61,0,3.09,-0.59,4.23,-1.57l0.27,0.28v0.79l5,4.99L20.49,19l-4.99,-5zm-6,0C7.01,14,5,11.99,5,9.5S7.01,5,9.5,5,14,7.01,14,9.5,11.99,14,9.5,14z" fill="#AAB2BD"/>
</g>
</svg>

The above is a simple example of an icon. Most SVG files will be much larger, but they will all have the same basic structure. To get the path for creating a shape you need to open the SVG file in a text editor and copy only the code between the quotes characters after d= in the <path> tag. So in the above example what you need to copy this, without the quotes:

M15.5,14h-0.79l-0.28,-0.27C15.41,12.59,16,11.11,16,9.5,16,5.91,13.09,3,9.5,3S3,5.91,3,9.5,5.91,16,9.5,16c1.61,0,3.09,-0.59,4.23,-1.57l0.27,0.28v0.79l5,4.99L20.49,19l-4.99,-5zm-6,0C7.01,14,5,11.99,5,9.5S7.01,5,9.5,5,14,7.01,14,9.5,11.99,14,9.5,14z

Creating the shape from the path

1.Copy the path code from the SVG file to the Windows clipboard (see above).

2.Open the Create from SVG Path function in the Shapes menu.

3.Paste the path code into the edit box and click on OK to insert the shape.

Scaling the shape

You can resize the SVG path shape just like any other shape object. Hold down SHIFT before resizing to keep the original aspect ratio (relationship of width to height).

Format the shape

SVG path shapes are outline shapes with all the properties that normal outline shapes have. You can set fill, outline, opacity, shadow and so on in the Properties tab on the right.